Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why Modern Christianity is No Different Than Any Other Religion

Its Easter Sunday..... the most important holiday of all for Christians.  Today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The man we Christians believe was the very Son of God.  Through out the day, I've seen and heard a number of people either make or post comments about the fact that if Christ did not rise from the dead, nothing He taught really matters.  Everything He offered this world is in vain if He still remains in His grave.

So, naturally, in order to be a Christian, it is really important to believe in a most unbelievable premise, that being, a man rose from the dead.  According to most "Christian" teachers and preachers, failure to "believe" in this event jeopardizes the eternal security of one's soul.  But to believe.......well, to believe changes everything.  For it is our faith that saves us and therefore our faith that is most important.  It is our ability to believe the unbelievable and the unlikely, that ultimately paves our way into heaven.

But there is a problem with this........you see, if it is faith that sets us apart, then we are in fact exactly the same as every other religion in the world, for every religion is founded on faith.  If faith is the most important thing in Christianity, then what we are ultimately saying is that you must believe the most unbelievable aspects of our faith MORE than the most unbelievable aspects of other religions.  By making faith the most important trait of Christianity, we have lowered our position to the same criteria of every other faith system out there and have created great pressure to seek out ways to prove and support the intangible.  We seek out ways to "prove" the resurrection, to "prove" the miracles, to "prove" the history of these stories, some of which are quite fantastic.  In seeking to "share" our faith, we first offer people the intangible, tell them they must believe, and then spend the rest of our lives trying to prove these things actually happened, negating the very need for faith in the first place!

Yet when one looks at the teachings of Christ, faith is important yes, but NOT the most important.  When asked about the greatest commandment did not Christ reply that we are to "love The Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind?"  Did He not place a close second to "love your neighbor as yourself?" (Matt 22)  I seem to remember the Apostle Paul stating in 1 Corinthians 13 that there are three great pillars of life: faith, hope, and love.  But then he went on to clarify that the "greatest of these is love!"

As Christians we have weakened our stance by taking an important aspect of our belief system and making it the most important.  As a result, Christianity is recognized more by "believing" in miracles and the following of rules than it is by its most powerful weapon.....love.

Love is tangible, love is real, love is obvious.  Anyone can see that if everyone loved one another, the world would be an incredible place.  Yet, we don't offer that first.  We don't offer up the most easily believable aspect of what Christ taught first...instead we do the same as everyone else, we start with the impossible.  We say in order to believe in His love you must first believe in His resurrection.  But perhaps we have it backwards.  Perhaps it would be easier for a skeptical world to first develop a tangible faith in His love and through that tangible faith, grow to have an intangible faith in His resurrection.